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Photo of Edward J. Larson, Ph.D.

Edward J. Larson, Ph.D.
University Professor and Hugh & Hazel Darling Chair in Law

Office: School of Law (SOL)
E-mail:

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1984
  • J.D., Harvard University, 1979
  • M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1976
  • B.A., Williams College, 1974

SSRN Author Page

The author of nine books and nearly one hundred published articles, Edward Larson teaches, lectures, and writes about issues of law, politics, science, and medicine from an historical perspective. His books include A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America's First Presidential Campaign (2008), Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (2004), Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the Deep South (1995), Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution (1985, 1989, and 2002 expanded editions), the Pulitzer Prize winning Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion (1997), and The Return of George Washington: 1783-1984 (2014). His book, An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science (2011) was a finalist for the 2012 Hessell-Tiltman Prize in History and received the Georgia Writers Award in History. Larson's articles have appeared in such varied journals as American History, Nature, Atlantic Monthly, Scientific American, Isis, The Nation, Wall Street Journal, Wilson Quarterly, The Georgia Review, Constitutional Commentary, and over a dozen different law reviews. He is the co-author or co-editor of six additional books, including The Constitutional Convention: A Narrative History from the Notes of James Madison (2005).

The recipient of several awards for excellence in teaching, Larson has taught courses in first-year property and health-care law for over twenty years at the University of Georgia and Pepperdine University. He served as a visiting professor of law at Stanford University in 2012 and was a visiting professor teaching American Constitutional Law at the University of Melbourne in 2011. He is the author of a widely-used property law casebook. Larson also lectures widely and participates in conferences and academic programs. He has delivered endowed or named addresses at dozens of colleges or universities, including Duke University, California Institute of Technology, Yale University, and Vanderbilt University, and spoken to scientific, legal, judicial, and medical groups across the country. Larson was a resident scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study Center in 1996, delivered the Fulbright Program's John Adams Chair in American Studies for 2001; was the AAAS's Sarton Award Lecture in 2000; participated in the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Writers and Artists program in 2003-04; and received an honorary doctorate degree from Ohio State University in 2004. From 2006 to 2009, he was a panelist on the National Institutes of Health's Study Section for Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues of the Human Genome Project. He is interviewed frequently for broadcast and print media, including The Daily Show and multiple appearances on PBS, BBC, the History Channel, C-SPAN, and NPR. He earned a BA from Williams College, a JD from Harvard, and a PhD in the History of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2013-14 he will be a Fellow at the Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon.

Key Awards/Affiliations
  • Fulbright Senior Scholar, John Adams Chair
  • 2003-04, Participant, Antarctic Artists and Writers Program, National Science Foundation,
  • 2003 American Spirit Award, Conference on Southern Literature,
  • 2001 Christ-Janer Award for Outstanding Research in the Humanities, Univ. of GA,
  • 2000-01 John Adams Chair of American History, Fulbright Program, University of Leiden, The Netherlands,
  • 2000 George Sarton Lecture, American Association for Advancement of Science,
  • 1999 National Civil Liberties Award, American Civil Liberties Union,
  • 1998 Pulitzer Prize for History,
  • 1998 American Bar Association Silver Gavel Award Finalist,
  • 1998 Washington State Governor's Writers Award,
  • 1998 Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Certificate of Recognition,
  • 1997 Templeton Prize for Outstanding Article in Science and Religion,
  • Resident Scholar, Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Study Center, Italy, 1996,
  • Richard B. Russell Award for Undergraduate Teaching, University of Georgia, 1992,
  • Parks-Heggoy Award for Excellence in Teaching History, University of Georgia, 1989,
  • University Fellow, University of Wisconsin, 1983-84,
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa, Williams College, 1974,

Publications


All | Books | Book Chapters | Articles | Forthcoming | Popular Press


Forthcoming Book Reviews


  • Edward J. Larson, Church, States, and Original Intent, AM. HISTORICAL REV. (forthcoming).
  • Edward J. Larson, Segregation's Science, ISIS (forthcoming).
  • Books


  • Edward J. Larson et al., PROPERTY: CASES AND MATERIALS (Aspen 3d ed. 2013).
  • Edward J. Larson, CREATIONISM IN THE CLASSROOM: CASES, STATUTES AND COMMENTARY (Thompson-West 2013).
  • Edward J. Larson, AN EMPIRE OF ICE : SCOTT, SHACKLETON, AND THE HEROIC AGE OF ANTARCTIC SCIENCE (Yale Univ. Press 2011). WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson et al., PROPERTY LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (James Charles Smith, Edward J. Larson, John Copeland Nagle & John A. Kidwell eds., Aspen, 2d ed. 2008). WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, A MAGNIFICENT CATASTROPHE: THE TUMULTUOUS ELECTION OF 1800, AMERICA'S FIRST PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN (Free Press 2007). WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, THE CREATION-EVOLUTION DEBATE: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES (Univ. of Georgia Press 2007). WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, THE ESSENTIAL WORDS AND WRITINGS OF CLARENCE DARROW (Edward J. Larson ed., Modern Library 2007). WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson & James Madison, THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION: A NARRATIVE HISTORY FROM THE NOTES OF JAMES MADISON (Edward J. Larson & Michael Winship eds., Modern Library 2005). WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson et al., PROPERTY LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (James Charles Smith, Edward J. Larson, John Copeland Nagle & John A. Kidwell eds., Aspen 2004).
  • Edward J. Larson, EVOLUTION: THE REMARKABLE HISTORY OF A SCIENTIFIC THEORY (Modern Library 2004). WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, TRIAL AND ERROR: THE AMERICAN CONTROVERSY OVER CREATION AND EVOLUTION (Oxford Univ. Press 2003).
  • Edward J. Larson, EVOLUTION'S WORKSHOP: GOD AND SCIENCE ON THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (Basic Books 2001).
  • Edward J. Larson, THE SCOPES TRIAL: A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY (Univ. of Tennessee Press 2000).
  • Edward J. Larson et al., THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION IN THE WESTERN TRADITION: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA (Edward J. Larson, Gary Ferngren & Darril Amundsen eds., Garland Publishing 2000).
  • Edward J. Larson, SUMMER FOR THE GODS: THE SCOPES TRIAL AND AMERICA'S CONTINUING DEBATE OVER SCIENCE AND RELIGION (Basic Book 1997).
  • Edward J. Larson, SEX, RACE, AND SCIENCE: EUGENICS IN THE DEEP SOUTH (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 1995). WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, TRIAL AND ERROR: THE AMERICAN CONTROVERSY OVER CREATION AND EVOLUTION (Oxford Univ. Press 1985).
  • Book Chapters


  • Edward J. Larson, Biology and the Emergence of the Eugenics Movement, in BIOLOGY AND IDEOLOGY FROM DESCARTES TO DAWKINS (D. Alexander & R. Numbers eds., Chicago Univ. Press 2010) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, Myth 20: That the Scopes Trial Ended in Defeat for Antievolutionism, in GALILEO GOES TO JAIL AND OTHER MYTHS ABOUT SCIENCE AND RELIGION (R. Numbers ed., Harvard Univ. Press 2009) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, Introduction; Author's Biography, in CHARLES DARWIN, ORIGIN OF SPECIES (Modern Library 2009) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, Slavery in the Election of 1800, in RACE AND SCIENCE (P. Farber & H. Cravens eds., OSU Press 2009) .
  • Edward J. Larson, Science and Religion in Historical Perspective: Response, in RECENT THEMES IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION (D. Yerxa ed., USC Press 2009) .
  • Edward J. Larson, Post Modern Developments in the Debate, in DARWIN AND THE BIBLE: THE CULTURAL CONFRONTATION (R. Robbins and M. Cohen eds., Penguin 2008) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, The Battle Between Creation and Evolution in the Classroom, in DARWIN AND THE BIBLE: THE CULTURAL CONFRONTATION (R. Robbins and M. Cohen eds., Penguin 2008) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, The Classroom Controversy: A History of the Dispute over Teaching Evolution, in THE PANDA'S BLACK BOX: OPENING UP THE INTELLIGENT DESIGN CONTROVERSY (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 2007) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, Relations of Science and Religion, in DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN HISTORY (Stanley I. Kutler ed., Scribner's, 3d ed. 2003) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, The Scopes Trial in History and Legend, in WHEN SCIENCE AND CHRISTIANITY MEET (David C. Lindberg & Ronald L. Numbers eds., Univ. of Chicago Press 2003) . WorldCat
  • Edward J. Larson, The Scopes Trial, in SCIENCE AND RELIGION: A HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION (Gary B. Ferngren ed., Johns Hopkins Univ. Press 2002) .
  • Edward J. Larson, Clarence Darrow, in OXFORD COMPANION TO AMERICAN LAW (Kermit L. Hall ed., Oxford Univ. Press 2002) .
  • Edward J. Larson, The Scopes Monkey Trial, in BOOKNOTES STORIES FROM AMERICAN HISTORY: LEADING HISTORIANS ON THE EVENTS THAT SHAPED OUR COUNTRY (Brian Lamb ed., Public Affairs 2001) .
  • Edward J. Larson, Scopes Trial, in OXFORD COMPANION TO AMERICAN HISTORY (Paul S. Boyer ed., Oxford Univ. Press 2001) .
  • Edward J. Larson, The Cultural Wars at 75, in SELECTED ORATIONS OF WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN (R. M. Cornelius ed., Bryan College 2000) . WorldCat
  • Articles


  • Edward J. Larson, Teaching Creation, Evolution, and the New Atheism in 21st Century America: Window on an Evolving Establishment Clause, 82 MISS L.J. 997 (2013) HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson, The Constitutionality of Lame Duck Lawmaking: The Text, History, Intent, and Original Meaning of the Twentieth Amendment, UTAH L. REV. 707 (2012) SSRN
  • Edward J. Larson, Medical Rationing, Death Panels and the Rising Cost of Health Care, 33 WHITTIER L. REV. 13 (2011) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson, Putting Buck v. Bell in Scientific and Historical Context: A Response to Victoria Nourse, 39 PEPP. L. REV. 119 (2011) (symposium) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson, Greater Glory: Why Scott Let Amundsen Win the Race to the South Pole, SCIENTIFIC AM., May 27, 2011, at 32
  • Edward J. Larson, 2011 Anti-Canonical Considerations, 39 PEPP. L. REV. 1 (2011) (symposium) HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson, Antarctica: Turning the World Upside Down, NATURE, Dec. 2011, at 29
  • Edward J. Larson, Public Science for a Global Empire: The British Quest for the South Magnetic Pole, 102 ISIS 34 (2011)
  • Edward J. Larson, The Natural History of Hell: The Galapagos Before Darwin, PROCEEDINGS OF THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, Sept. 2010, at 37
  • Edward J. Larson, Poles Apart: Scott, Amundsen and Science, 35 ENDEAVOUR 129 (2011)
  • Edward J. Larson, An American Tragedy: Retelling the Leopold-Loeb Story in Popular Culture, 50 AM. J. LEGAL HIST. 119 (2010) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson, "I Had No Intention to Write Atheistically": Darwin, God, and the 2500-Year History of the Debate, RELIGION DISPATCHES, Nov. 24, 2009
  • Edward J. Larson, The Reception of Darwinism in the Nineteenth Century, 21 SCIENCE AND CHRISTIAN BELIEF 3 (2009)
  • Edward J. Larson, Prejudiced Results: Darwin and Race, BOOKFORUM, Feb./Mar. 2009, at 36
  • Edward J. Larson, Murder Will Out: Rethinking the Right of Publicity Through One Classic Case, 62 RUTGERS L. REV. 131 (2009) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson, Approaching the Rubicon and Crossing the Bar: Washington's Death and the Rise of Republican Rule, 62 GEORGIA REV. 551 (2008)
  • Edward J. Larson, Religion vs. Science: America's Perilous Fight, RELIGION DISPATCHES, May 8, 2008
  • Edward J. Larson, Time for Another Jubilee, USA TODAY, Jan. 14, 2008
  • Edward J. Larson, David Depew & Ronald Isetti, Inheriting Inherit the Wind: Debating the Play as a Teaching Tool, 1 EVOLUTION EDUCATION AND OUTREACH 150 (2008)
  • Edward J. Larson, The Politics of History, WALL ST. J., Feb. 6, 2008
  • Edward J. Larson & Larry Withman, Scienziati e Religione in America, 73 SAPERE, Feb. 2007, at 58
  • Edward J. Larson, Declarations of Faith, TIME, Nov. 12, 2007
  • Edward J. Larson, Infidels at the Gates: Science and Religion in the 1800 Election: Lesson for Today?, SCIENCE AND SPIRIT, Jul/Aug 2007 at 45
  • Edward J. Larson, The Revolution of 1800, AMERICAN HISTORY, Dec. 2007, at 26
  • Edward J. Larson & Marc Dettmann, The Impact of HSAs on Health Care Reform: Preliminary Results After One Year, 40 WAKE FOREST L. REV. 1087 (2005) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson, Building a Nation From Thirteen States: The Constitutional Convention and Preemption, 33 PEPP. L. REV. 7 (2005) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson, From Cruzan to Schiavo: Similar Bedfellows in Fact and at Law, 22 CONST. COMMENT. 405 (2005) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson, Tailored Genes, LEGAL AFFAIRS, Nov.-Dec. 2003, at 56
  • Edward J. Larson, The Meaning of Human Gene Testing for Disability Rights, 70 U. CIN. L. REV. 913 (2001-02) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson & Dan T. Coenen, Congressional Power Over Presidential Elections: Lessons From the Past and Reforms for the Future, 43 WM. & MARY L. REV 851 (2002) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson, Law and Society in the Courtroom: Introducing the Trials of the Century, 68 UMKC L. REV. 543 (2000) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Edward J. Larson, Tales of Death: Storytelling in the Physician-Assisted Suicide Litigation, 39 WASHBURN L.J. 159 (1999-2000) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Book Reviews


  • Edward J. Larson, The Deadlocked Election of 1800: Jefferson, Burr, and the Union in the Balance - By James Roger Sharp, 42 PRESIDENTIAL STUD. Q. 425 (2012) (book review).
  • Edward J. Larson, The Trial in American Life, AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW, Oct. 2007 (book review).
  • Edward J. Larson, Euthanasia in America--Past, Present, and Future: A Review of A Merciful End and Forced Exit, 102 MICH. L. REV. 1245 (2004) (book reviews). SSRN HeinOnline
  • Popular Press


  • Edward J. Larson, Speaker, George Washington and the Constitution, Mount Vernon Symposium, Reagan Library (Feb. 28, 2013).
  • Edward J. Larson, Selected as the inaugural Fellow for the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, Mount Vernon, Virginia, 2013-2014, .
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," Jonathan Club, Los Angeles, CA, 2012.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," Cosmopolitan Club, San Francisco, CA, 2012.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," Metropolitan Club in Washington, D.C., 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," National Science Foundation headquarters in Alexandria, VA, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, "Medical Rationing, Death Panels and the Rising Cost of Health Care," Whittier Law School Law Review Symposium, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, "Putting Buck v. Bell in Scientific and Historical Context: Response to Victoria F. Nourse," Pepperdine Law Review Symposium, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, "Science and Religions: Two Cultures?" Belief in Dialogue Conference Plenary Lecture, American University of Sharjah, UAE, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, "Who's to Blame for Eugenics?" Ian Ramsey Center Conference Plenary Lecture, Oxford University, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, "The American Legal Controversy Over Teaching Evolution," Law and Religion Conference, Melbourne Law School, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, "The Burr Treason Trials," AJEI/ABA Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, "The History, Intent and Meaning of the 20th Amendment," University of Virginia School of Law, Faculty Symposium, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," Explorer's Club in New York City, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," Burbury Lecture, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," National Maritime Museum, Sydney, Australia, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," Royal Society in London, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," California Club, Los Angeles, CA, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, GA, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," Free Library, Philadelphia, PA, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Lecture, Thai Counsel, Los Angeles, CA, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Respondent, Pepperdine Law Review Symposium, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Speaker, Whittier Law Review Symposium, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Speaker, Claremont McKenna College workshop, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Lecture, Loma Linda University, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Lecture, Explorer's Club, New York City, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Panelist, Christian Scholar's Conference, Pepperdine University, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Speaker, Tennessee Bar Association Annual Meeting, Chattanooga, TN, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Speaker, British Council Conference on Science, Culture and Modernity, American Univ. of Sharjah, UAE, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Presentation re "An Empire of Ice," 11th Annual Shackleton Autumn School, Athy, Ireland, 2011.
  • Edward J. Larson, Lecture, FREE Federal Judges Conference, Bozeman, MT, 2010.
  • Edward J. Larson, Lecture, Faraday Institute, Cambridge University, 2010.
  • Edward J. Larson, Lecture, FREE Religious Leaders Conference, Big Sky, MT, 2010.
  • Edward J. Larson, Panel Discussion, UCLA School of Law, 2010.
  • Edward J. Larson, Public Lecture and law faculty speaker, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MI, 2010.
  • Edward J. Larson, "Science in Modern Law," University of Athens, Delphi Summer Conference, Greece, 2009.
  • Edward J. Larson, "Inherit the Wind," Sigel Center Fall Workshop, Plenary Speaker, Montreal, Canada, 2009.
  • Edward J. Larson, "Darwinism and the Victorian Soul," Pepperdine University Darwin Conference, Plenary Speaker, 2009.
  • Edward J. Larson, "Judeo-Christian Legal Tradition," Israel Winter Intersession, Tel Aviv, Israel, 2009.
  • Edward J. Larson, "The Scopes Trial," International Academy of Trial Lawyers Annual Meeting, Plenary Address, San Francisco, CA, 2009.
  • Edward J. Larson, "The Galapagos and International Conservation Law," Galapagos Symposium, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA, 2009.
  • Edward J. Larson, "Eugenics and the Law," International Darwin Conference, University of Northwest Territories, Darwin, Australia, 2009.
  • Edward J. Larson, "The American Legal Controversy over Creation and Evolution," University of Michigan, Invited Lecture, 2009.

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